– Grand Central Perc (2444 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; 727-498-8870) is up and running. In addition to coffee and tea, it has pastries and sandwiches, but on Sundays it is hosting what it is calling a “celebrity chef” series. A guest chef — either a celebrity or an aspiring one — comes in and cooks their specialty. This Sunday, Elizabeth Dougherty, the host of Food Nation Radio and the Eat St. Pete blog, will be making her Boursin Benedicts. The cost will be $9.95, and I have been assured there will be mimosas.
– Backwaters on Sand Key (1261 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater; 727-517-7383) hosts its sixth annual chili cookoff on Jan. 30. The contest is open to home cooks, and prizes include gift cards and gift baskets … and bragging rights. Entry forms are available at the restaurant.